Author vs Writer: Difference and Comparison

Writing is a communication medium for humans; it is a way in which a person writes in different languages, numbers and symbols to communicate details, thoughts or anything else through the written mode of communication. 

Author and writer are the two different titles given to persons who write. These terms refer to different types of writing persons and have different definitions but are used interchangeably.

An author is a person who tries to convey his ideas and thoughts through writing, while a writer is a person who writes any literary piece, but the idea is not necessarily his own.

Key Takeaways

  1. An author has written and published a book or multiple books, while a writer can refer to anyone who writes, regardless of whether they have published any books.
  2. Authors write longer works like novels, while writers can work in various formats such as journalism, advertising, or screenwriting.
  3. The term “author” can carry more prestige than “writer,” as it implies that the person has achieved a certain level of success in the literary world.

Author vs Writer

The difference between an author and a writer is that an author is a person who creates his ideas and draws his plot, and writes about it; the work of an author is always copyrighted; a person becomes an author only when his work gets published,

On the other hand, a writer is a person who writes articles, books, magazines, news articles, etc., but his work does not have a copyright in his name, the work of a writer is not necessarily published. 

Author vs Writer

Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonAuthorWriter
MeaningAn author is a person who writes an article, a book or a document based on his originally drafted ideas and plots. A writer is a person who writes articles, drafts, documents, news, magazines or any literary piece but not necessarily on his ideas.
OriginThe word author came into existence in the 14th century from the Latin word ‘Auctour’, which means author in Latin. The word writer has its origin before the 12th century. However, the current definition of writer originated in 1837 from the word ‘Writere’ in old English.
Required Skills A person becomes an author only when his work gets published; a person requires a specific set of skills to become an author.There are no criteria for when a person becomes a writer, but it can be said that the person becomes a writer the moment he or she starts writing; a writer requires the skills suitable for his job.
Nature of workAn author’s focus is to develop plots and ideas and narrate stories based on them; their works are always unique. The main focus of a writer is to develop the content required in his job; a writer’s work is not necessarily unique.
Publishing and copyrightAn author’s works are always published with his name, and the published work has the author’s copyright. The works of a writer are not necessarily published since many people or writers keep their writing to themselves only. Still, the works of writers are not necessarily their copyright work.

What is an Author?

An author is the creator of original works based on his ideas. A person becomes an author when his work gets published, and specific skills are required to become an author. The published works have the author’s copyright.

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Authors become popular because they put great effort into drafting ideas.

Some famous authors include Jane Austen, Arthur Conan Doyle, Victor Hugo, William Shakespeare, Sidney Sheldon, J K Rowling, Leo Tolstoy, EL James, etc.


What is a Writer?

A writer is a person who writes. In other words, a writer writes articles, stories, books, reports, documents, scripts, songs or any literary work, but the idea behind his works is not necessarily his own.

The word writer originated before the 12th century from the old English word writers, which means writer.

A writer has his writing style, and he may write in various genres. A person becomes a writer as soon as he starts writing; the writing can be personal or professional. A writer focuses on writing anything that his job demands. The works of a writer are necessarily published.

A writer can be classified into the following categories- screenwriter, playwriter, story writer, speechwriter, critic, lyricist, etc.

Some famous writers include William Dalrymple, who used to write in the travel genre and as a journalist; Dorothy Sayers was a crime fiction writer but also worked as a critic and playwriter. 


Main Differences Between Author and Writer

  1. The author and writer are both the persons who write. Specifically, an author writes articles, books or any other literary work based on his freshly drafted and unique ideas. At the same time, a writer writes literary works, but the idea doesn’t need to be his own. 
  2. A person becomes an author only if his works are published, and there are no specific criteria for becoming a writer. 
  3. A specific set of skills is required to become an author; however, a writer requires the skills necessary to do his job.
  4. The main focus of an author is to develop plots and ideas and narrate a story based on them; on the other hand, a writer focuses on developing and delivering his work as and when required in his job.
  5. An author’s works are always unique and different, while the works of a writer are not necessarily unique.
  6. An author’s works can be copyrighted in his name, while the works of a writer can not be copyrighted since the idea is not theirs.
  7. Becoming an author requires a good imagination and thought process, while no such thing is required to become a writer.
Difference Between Author and Writer
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Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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24 thoughts on “Author vs Writer: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The comparison table does a great job of succinctly capturing the key differences in the meanings and works of authors and writers, offering a clear framework for comprehension.

    • Certainly, the article’s focus on the distinctions between the roles of author and writer is both informative and thought-provoking.

    • Absolutely, the detailed analysis presented here provides a rich understanding of the unique implications associated with the roles of author and writer.

  2. I find it rather contentious to suggest that a writer’s work is not necessarily unique. Does being driven by external ideas make their work any less original?

    • The distinction drawn between the nature of work for authors and writers could indeed be subject to interpretation.

    • It’s an interesting point. However, the discussion of uniqueness might benefit from further examination to reconcile varying perspectives.

  3. The article’s detailed examination makes a compelling case for the careful differentiation of the roles of author and writer, grounding the conversation in a solid understanding of these terms’ unique connotations.

  4. The article has certainly succeeded in delineating the fine distinctions between the roles of author and writer, offering a valuable analytical framework for understanding these terms.

  5. The breakdown of differences in nature of work and requirements for becoming either an author or writer is quite enlightening. It’s interesting to see the nuances between the two roles laid out so clearly.

  6. The article’s coverage of the defining characteristics of both authors and writers is highly illuminating, offering valuable insights into the nature and requirements of these roles.

    • Indeed, the article’s focus on contextualizing the differences between authors and writers serves to enhance the richness of discussions around these terms.

    • The thorough exploration of the subtleties in the roles of authors and writers underscores the value of this article as an informative resource on the subject.

  7. The comprehensive exploration of what constitutes an author or a writer is commendable. The comparative presentation is particularly helpful in highlighting the differences effectively.

  8. This article does a great job breaking down the key differences between the concepts of author and writer, providing some useful comparisons in the process.

  9. I appreciate the depth of explanation provided regarding the nature of work of authors and writers. This article illuminates that aspect effectively.

    • Yes, it’s refreshing to see a comprehensive analysis focusing on the skills and nature of work involved in these roles.

  10. The presentation style of the article effectively elucidates the differences between authors and writers, adding depth and clarity to the discussions around these terms.

    • I found the article’s exploration of the differences between author and writer to be quite enlightening. It brings out the unique dimensions of these roles concisely.


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